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Defense motion denied in sexual assault case

February 14, 2000|By MARLO BARNHART

The victim of a sexual assault inside North Hagerstown High School last fall identified her alleged attacker from a photo lineup in 15 seconds, according to testimony Monday at a Washington County Circuit Court hearing in which the defense tried unsuccessfully to suppress that evidence.

"That's the man who attacked me," the 14-year-old student told Hagerstown City Police when she saw a photo of Bradley Wayne Rinehart in an array with five other photos.

Defense attorney Eric Reed argued the other five photos were too dissimilar to be mistaken for the man the victim had earlier described to police.

But Circuit Judge Kennedy Boone disagreed, calling the lineup as "good a job as possible."

That identification was preserved for Rinehart's trial on charges of first-, second- and third-degree sex offenses, unnatural and perverted sex, sodomy, theft, openly carrying a weapon with intent to injure, kidnapping, false imprisonment, first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment.

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Trial is scheduled for March 16.

Police said the girl went into the school building about 5 p.m. on Oct. 25 with a man who asked her to help him find his daughter. Inside the school, she was forced into an unoccupied room and was sexually assaulted, police said.

As to whether Rinehart's statements to Hagerstown City Police were voluntary, Boone pointed out that Rinehart called police to talk about those charges, not the other way around.

"He actually initiated the first contact," Boone said, noting that officers were summoned Oct. 27 to 950-A Main Ave., where Rinehart was staying with his sister.

Boone also refused to suppress statements Rinehart allegedly made to Sgt. Don Stottlemyer of the Maryland State Police about an unrelated burglary that occurred earlier.

Rinehart also will be tried on those charges in the March 16 trial.

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